Wheels Up (NeRdyWYRM’s Review)

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Title: Wheels Up (Out of Uniform #4)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: November 6, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Military Romance
Page Count: 304 pages
Reviewed by: NeRdyWYRM
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5


Their love is forbidden, but their hearts aren’t listening to rules and regulations.

Lieutenant Dustin Strauss is a reformed man. No longer a twentysomething hell-raiser, he’s his SEAL team’s new XO-and a man with a secret. Or seven. He’s kept his bisexual identity under wraps for years, along with his kinky side and a fondness for the military-themed semi-anonymous hookup website Joe4Joe. His latest chat buddy is more than a sexy online distraction-they’re taking their very not-safe-for-work relationship into real time.

Petty Officer Wes Lowe has a smart mouth, a take-charge attitude and an uncanny ability for making things go boom. The life of an enlisted man isn’t always enough to satisfy him, but one wild, no-questions-asked weekend with his online love comes close. When a transfer order comes in, Wes feels ready and centered. He’ll make a good impression on his new SEAL team and keep his growing feelings for Dustin on the down low.

But as they log more time online and some very real emotions surface, Dustin and Wes struggle to pretend they’re just a harmless fling. And when his commander introduces Dustin to his team’s newest member, they’re in for the shock of a lifetime…and a crushing disappointment: their difference in ranks means even a friendship without sexual contact could end their navy careers for good.

With their hearts on the line, Dustin and Wes may not survive their next mission, let alone find a way toward a future together.

Loved It. Not Surprising.

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Honestly, this series speaks for itself. If you don’t already have it on auto-buy with your favorite bookseller, you should. I wouldn’t exactly call these books lighthearted, not in the way of a Lucy Lennox story, for example, however! I put this book on my humor/lighthearted shelf because they are always ‘happy’ reads that give me warm and fuzzies.

I did myself a disservice this time and read this book immediately following L.A. Witt’s newest book in the Anchor Point series, Rank & File. If you’ve read both of them, you know why I shouldn’t have done that! There are a lot of similarities, yes, but each author has a distinct voice and both stories stand on their own merits. Unfortunately, due to their proximity to each other in my reading lineup, these two stories kind of merged and overlapped in my memory at this point. So instead of comparing and contrasting writing technicalities, I’ll just say a few last words and leave it be.

This book about Dustin and Wes was my absolute favorite in the Out of Uniform series so far. I loved the dynamic between the characters both in and out of the bedroom. I was fascinated, intrigued and titillated pretty much throughout. I have been rooting for Dustin to find someone for himself since we got to see so much of him in Dylan and Apollo’s story. So … a long time! I especially liked how the usual officer/enlisted trope and the ubiquitous “[…] who, if anyone, is going to leave their job?” angst was kept to a relative minimum here. It was heartwarming, sexy, hot-hot-hot, and oh wait, H-O-T. I mean … holy hellfire, brimstone, and lava HOT. I loved it and you will too. Loved. It. And I’m in no way surprised by that. Heard!

This review cross-posted at Goodreads.
Other reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be read here.

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Out Of Uniform Series

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Galley copy of Wheels Up (Out of Uniform #4) provided by Carina Press in exchange of an honest review.


I am a life-long reader and an avid learner. I remember reading books without pictures when I was about four, and raided every title on my parents' full and intimidating book shelves—well, the ones they would let me read, anyway—from then on. Characters written by authors like Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Raymond E. Feist, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, and Anne McCaffrey were my childhood playmates. Back then, I went nowhere unless I had a book in my hand. While the rest of my generation was shifting from cassettes to CDs and from Atari to Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation, I spent my allowance on Myth & Magic pewter figurines and on books at the Stars and Stripes bookstore. These days I don't have a book in my hand anymore, at least not the printed variety. Instead, it's any device with a Kindle app. I stubbornly held on to the printed page until a military move weighed my book collection in at over a ton. Oops. Sorry-not-sorry, but I did have to exercise some pragmatism in that area, unfortunately. Now I only buy hardbacks from my favorite authors, the classics, or long-running series. Otherwise, I've surrendered to the times and our weight allowance and have gone all digital. I stay strictly on the fiction side of the fence because non-fiction is generally too dry to hold my interest. I was always a scholar, and so have read enough textbook-like titles and required reading for school and college to last me a lifetime, thank you very much. So, non-fiction? No, thanks. However, barring non-fiction and biographies (ewww people), there's not much out there I won't read. I have loved romance novels since I was prepubescent. Something about historicals and anything with horses, i.e., Native American inspired romances just did it for me. My grandmother was appalled that my parents let me read that 'smut' as she called it. I'd already justified my position on being allowed to read those controversial titles with a logical argument that there were a lot of historical facts in those books that couldn't be learned in the classroom alone. And to this day, I maintain that stance. I have learned more from books, specifically romance and fantasy novels, than I ever did in a classroom. ~~wink-wink~~ My dad always said I was too smart for my own good. Looking back, he was probably right! I could logically talk my way into and out of just about anything. It's served me well, but caused me no end of problems, too. That said, despite my love for the romance genre in general and the m/m romance genre in particular, there is little chance that a decent book of any kind will fail to catch my interest, and there's nothing at all I'm unwilling to learn. So bring it on. I hope you enjoy my reviews.